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Horizon highlights – New media/News media edition

By / May 15, 2009

Jacob Turcotte/Staff

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Our regular roundup of sci-tech stories from across the Web includes: four ways the news industry has stumbled over the Internet, and "Is the Internet bad for the environment?" Let’s kick it off:

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Pay walls: Why people won't pay for online news the way they pay for HBO
"The newspaper executives testifying before Congress lately have suggested, not incidentally, an exemption from antitrust laws so their companies could openly discuss matters like banding together behind a collective pay wall on the web. Here's why cable and satellite subscriptions aren't a good model for newspapers." [via Advertising Age]

News rules: WSJ's social-networking twits
"One of the issues facing traditional media in the online-media age is not just losing their status as gatekeepers for their readers; it's how to remain the gatekeepers for their own staff. In other words, when anyone can post anything online, immediately, in chatrooms, blogs, Facebook or Twitter, what limits do you put on your journalists? Should you put any at all?" [via Time]

Lost and found: Alumni try to rewrite history on college-newspaper web sites
"As the papers have begun digitizing their back issues, their Web sites have become the latest front in the battle over online identities. Youthful activities that once would have disappeared into the recesses of a campus library are now preserved on the public record, to be viewed with skeptical eyes by an adult world of colleagues and potential employers. Alumni now in that world are contacting newspapers with requests for redaction. For unlike Facebook profiles — that other notable source of young-adult embarrassment — the ability to remove or edit questionable content in these cases is out of the author's hands." [via The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Vox box: The president’s name trips up a would-be voice of the news
"But if the Kindle, which not only displays the news but also speaks it with a computerized voice, is ever to be the savior of print media, it needs to bone up on its pronunciation." [via NYTimes]

Eco-electronic: Is the Internet bad for the environment?
"We know that our computers use energy, and if we think about it, we recognize that all those servers that enable our e-mails to reach South America or Japan require plenty of power, too. But what we probably haven’t envisioned is how much energy it takes to power the data centers that keep the Internet running. It’s an estimated 152 billion kilowatt hours yearly." [via CSM's Bright Green blog]

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